11/04/2007

The Third Novel Writing Novemeber

It's November again and for the third year in a row, I will attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days as a part of National Novel Writing Month. I've never made it all the way. In fact the farthest I've gotten is about 12k last year. But that was almost double what I wrote the first year. And this year, I've roped a few more friends into doing it with me in the attempt to make it more of a game. I work harder when there is some competition.

So for this month, most of what I'll be posting here are excerpts from that larger undertaking. They will be mostly true stories since the novel that I'm trying to write is a remembrance of my grandpa's life and about my childhood experiences with him. At least that's what I think it's going to be about. Below is the first of hopefully many excerpts.


DRIVING LESSON
This is the high school where I had my first driving lesson. I must have been 8 or 9. It was a Christmas vacation. A handful of times we spent Christmas with my grandparents in the house on Cherry Street. There was a fireplace there. We did not have a fireplace at my house in Illinois and I was always confused as to how Santa got in. But in Huntington it was clear. I knew how he got in, but I didn’t know why the presents that he gave in Indiana were so much suckier than they were at home.

This year it snowed and it was beautiful. Sarah and I were riding back with my dad from seeing a Christmas light display at a local park when we stopped into the High School parking lot. There were no cars and the whole thing was covered with six to eight inches of snow. My dad put the car in park and looked at Sarah and told her, “It’s time for your first driving lesson.”

I was shocked. I knew that it was against the law for anyone to drive a car who was under 16 years of age. Sarah was only 12 or 13. This was illegal! But Sarah scooted across the bench seat to sit behind the wheel. She drove in slow circles around the empty lot barely touching the pedals. My dad gave pointers and laughed as the car swerved around in the snowdrifts.

I was so jealous. And so ecstatic when he turned around to the back seat and told me it was my turn. My feet hung twelve inches from the pedals and I could barely see over the dashboard, but I was driving. The car crunched through the snow at a creeping pace and I controlled its course. I directed it right and left. I held the lives of my passengers in my hands. It was exhilarating. I felt so grown up so mature. Of course that night we were sent to bed at 8:30 and it deflated my adult bubble a little bit.

2 Comments:

Blogger sooprgrll said...

Can't wait for more!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Abbi said...

I only lap-drove. I didn't know there were petals down there until I was tall enough for bumper cars. I think we all still get excited by Pow-Pow-Power Wheels!

3:51 PM  

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